Adult Protection Services

The purpose of the Adult Protective Services is to provide protection and advocacy to Pierce County residents who are elderly or adults at risk. An adult at risk is an adult, of any age, who has any physical or mental impairment that restricts his or her ability to care for his/her needs and who has experienced or is at risk of abuse or neglect. Abuse includes physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, treatment without consent, unreasonable confinement or restraint.  Other reportable instances include financial exploitation, neglect and self-neglect. Services provided by the Adult Protective Services include but are not limited to: protection, advocacy, outreach, information, intervention, assessment, short term case management, guardianship and protective service coordination.

To access these services, please call the ADRC at 715-273-6780 or toll free at 1-877-273-0804.

To make a referral after hours call the Northwest Connections Crisis line at 1-888-552-6642. In the event of an emergency, dial 911.

For more information on Guardianships and Advanced Directives click here.


What is a guardian?
A person with a severe cognitive disability may be unable to exercise some or all of his or her own rights or to protect his or her own interests.  A guardian is a person appointed by a court to take the place of the person in exercising the rights he or she is unable to exercise, to make (or help make) decisions the person is unable to make independently, and to be an advocate for the person's interests.  A guardian can only exercise powers that the state law and court order provide.
What are the different kinds of guardians?
There are two basic kinds of guardians, a guardian of the estate and a guardian of the person.  A court appoints a guardian of the estate for a person who is incompetent to handle his or her own finances.  A court appoints a guardian of the person for a person who is incompetent to provide or arrange for personal needs, such as the need for shelter, food, medical care, or social services.  A guardian can be appointed for both.
What is the process to obtain a guardianship?
Contact your local Register in Probate, located in your local courthouse, for the paperwork.  If you need help with the paperwork and its legalities, you can hire a lawyer. If you cannot afford a lawyer and the person is receiving Medicaid, then call the ADRC at 715-273-6780 and we may be able to help.

Power of Attorney Documents

What is a Power of Attorney document and do I need one?
Everyone should complete a Power of Attorney for both health care and financial decisions while you are of sound mind.  This is also known as an advance directive.  These documents appoint a person who would serve as your decision making person in the event that you cannot make decisions for yourself.  This way you wouldn't need a guardian.  It is very important to communicate your wishes to the person you appoint in advance.